The University of Michigan’s 2016 United Way employee giving campaign raised more than $1.3 million to support the Washtenaw County neighbors who need it most.

The dollars raised will benefit programs and services through either the Community Investment Fund or a nonprofit organization of each donor’s choice.

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The Community Investment Fund seeks to coordinate funding of human service programs in Washtenaw County. It helps enrich the community when it comes to health and nutrition, works to provide housing and end homelessness, supports early childhood and school age youth, and provides programs for the aging population.

U-M United Way campaign co-chairs Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the U-M Health System, and Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations, thanked the university community for its generous support of the campaign. They gave a special shout-out to the more than 500 unit volunteers from around the university who gave their time and energy to make the campaign a success.

“The employees of the University of Michigan have proven how much they care about our neighbors by their support of the United Way campaign,” Wilbanks said. “This is a better and stronger community because of their generosity. Together we show that we can make a difference in everyday lives.”

The giving spirit of the U-M community is special, Denton said. “Each year, our United Way campaign results show how much of a difference we can make through passion for serving others when they need it most. I feel grateful to be part of such a great team.”

Pam Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Washtenaw County, also was grateful to the U-M community.

“I would like to personally thank the faculty and staff for their participation in the United Way campaign, once again proving they are the leaders and best. The University of Michigan provides exemplary leadership and commitment to our community,” said Smith.

“Through this campaign, which is No. 1 among Big Ten institutions, we are able to provide solutions to the challenges of poverty in Washtenaw County which affects more than 22,000 households.”

Several U-M units donated prizes during the campaign, including Athletics, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, MHealthy, and the University Musical Society. The list of prizewinners is on the U-M United Way website.

While the formal campaign has ended, the U-M United Way office is still accepting pledges. To make a donation, call 734-763-3109.